Fitness was never on Karen Hooper’s radar.
Prior to joining CrossFit Central in 2013, the busy paralegal would occasionally go on walks and bike rides along the hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, but that was about the extent of her exercise routine.
Karen was familiar with CrossFit Central in its early days through her daughter Lynnsey, who began personal training with Carey (Kepler) during her high school days back in 2005. While Karen was supportive, for a long time, she believed CrossFit was Lynnsey’s ‘thing’, not hers.
Little did Karen realize that Lynnsey’s ‘thing’ would gradually become her own ‘thing’, and transform her family’s lifestyle.
“Lynnsey started training with Carey until graduating from high school. And, of course, as Lynnsey’s life began changing, my life and my husband’s lives began changing too. Lynnsey grew in her focus physically, mentally, and spiritually, as well as developed a passion for nutrition and healing. Once she made up her mind to earn a degree in Nutrition, my world and my husband’s worlds started shifting. We began to think more about how we could improve our health through eating better and through physical fitness,” Karen said.
Karen’s turning point to try CrossFit and make the leap into eating a paleo-based diet, however, did not come until she randomly began to experience digestion problems at the age of 50.
“A few hours spent in the emergency room were all that I needed. I finally gave in. Why I waited? I’ll never know. Through her patience and loving encouragement, Lynnsey slowly changed my perspective on how I can truly feel better and even great!” Karen said.
A little over one year ago, in March 2013, Karen officially signed up to join CrossFit Central. Around that time, Lynnsey also joined the CrossFit Central staff team as one of our ‘angels’, helping greet members, manage client accounts, oversee the apparel line, and oversee other ‘back of the house’ tasks.
Like Lynnsey who often gets up early to be at work, Karen is up by 5 a.m. at least two days per week to jump into Coach Karen Pierce’s 5:30 a.m. ‘Femolition’ all-women’s class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the CrossFit Central Downtown location.
“This is a true commitment because I’m not a morning person to put it lightly. Coach Pierce is amazing and motivates me to get my act together,” Karen said.
Part of getting her ‘act together’ included consistency in her training and healthy eating—even on days when she didn’t feel like it. In January this year, she also signed up for the I AM CROSSFIT challenge, an eight week process of burning bad habits and setting goals for physical fitness and better nutrition.
“What I didn’t realize is that I thought I had been eating better for the previous 18 months. Once I put my mind to the goals I had set for physical changes, I had lost 4% body fat, 3.2 lbs and 10 inches all over! I know now that consistency really works. Through healthy nutrition and healthy physical fitness, I’m happier in my marriage to my hero of a husband, I’m stronger mentally and physically, and I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I am hitting PRs regularly and that’s just a big bonus, but it sure feels awesome!” Karen said.
Get to know Karen
Q. What is your favorite workout or movement?
A. Deadlifts and push jerks. Fight Gone Bad kicked my butt recently and I plan to give it hell next time.
Q. Favorite food or meal?
A. My favorite meal is salmon, asparagus and a baked sweet potato. My favorite side dish is Brussels sprouts with bacon and blueberries. My nemesis is Amy’s ice cream (1/2 dark chocolate, 1/2 coffee with Heath Bar crushin’). Good grief, gotta have it!
Q. What are your goals for the remainder of the year?
A.I want to master the kipping pull-up, PR my deadlift (again), master 5 double-unders unbroken. I have a crazy dream that all my co-workers and friends show up to work out with me, just one time, and it positively changed their world. That would be simply Awesome! I love every one of them and encourage them every day to better their world through exercise and better nutrition. I’m going to learn “Amazing Grace” on a sweet wooden fiddle I bought in Honduras last January.
Q. What do you do outside CrossFit (work, fun, school)? What are you passionate about?
A. I am passionate about God, Jesus, Hope, Faith and Love. I’m passionate about my marriage and working through it every day, not just sometimes. I’m passionate about my daughter, giving her hugs and learning more from her every day. I’m passionate about my family, extended family, and friends, period. I’m passionate about music of ALL kinds, from lyrics written from a hammock in Honduras to masterpieces that will stand the test of time. I’m passionate about playing guitar. I play trumpet, a bit of piano and a bit of mandolin. I’m passionate about life and helping, serving, loving others.
Q. What are 3 fun, random facts we probably wouldn’t know about you?
A. (1.) I sang jazz with the jazz band in high school and dream of those moments often. (2.) I’ve been known to play Texas Fight on the trumpet at any hour of the day or night at random places around Austin for a UT win and for multiple National Championships. (3.) My peaceful place is spending a week on a hammock in Honduras every January, guitar in tow.